Saturday, June 1, 2013

Servant's Heart

Servant's Heart: There is nothing more appealing in human kind or in the animal kingdom than meeting up with a real servant hearted friend. This is Zoe asking in her own special way, "what can I do for you pop?" Sometimes she is a bit transparent wanting a scratch or a treat, but underneath even this is her desire to just connect with us, to share life. Zoe is now seven plus years old. She has been my running partner for most of her life. We are blessed to live in the central coast of California, with lots of scenic trails and canyons to explore. Since I enjoy running so much, what a treat to be able to take Zoe with me. We gradually worked up to ten and twelve mile runs, with strategic rest breaks in creeks and streams. She really enjoys a dip in a stream or playful frollicking in the ocean surf. And I enjoy sharing this time with her.

Sometimes however I endeaver to train for upcoming races, 5-k, 10-k or half-marathon. To run well I need to train hard and Zoe has been more than willing to match me stride for stride, regardless of any discomfort that she may experience. I started to notice that she would limp after longer runs, so her veterinarian prescribed anti-inflammatories. We started to use these more frequently, yet with her servants heart, she has always anticipated our runs and has been eager to go. She actually monitors what I wear, anticipating running shorts and shoes, which elicits robust tail wags and songs of joy as she searches for her leash.  

I recently came to a sad but important realization, that Zoe will with her sevant's heart run as far and as fast as she can just to please me. Yet what really pleases me is to just be with her, to look in her eyes and see unconditional love. Her nudges, wiggles and waggles open my heart to love and life. So in response to Zoe's training I now take her on much shorter runs, still to her favorite places, but now the journey is more for my servant friend whose very presence radiates God's joy in my life.

Zoe is teaching me about servanthood. Her advanced course in servanthood has helped me look more closely at my relationships with my human friends and stired a desire within me to serve more and bark less. I'm so greatful for my friend professor Zoe. 
Thanks for listening,
Servant in training!

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